LoJack's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

LoJack Corporation ( LOJN)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

February 21, 2012, 5:00 p.m. ET

Executives

Jeremy Warnick – Corporate Communications Manager

Randy Ortiz – President & CEO

Donald Peck – EVP & CFO

Analysts

Bill Dezellem – Tieton Capital Management

Chris Owen – [Inaudible] Fund

Presentation

Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for standing by. Welcome to your LoJack Corporation fourth quarter and year-end 2011 Financial Results. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question and answer session, and instructions will be given at that time. (Operator instructions.).

As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

I would now like to introduce our host for today, Mr. Jeremy Warnick, of Corporate Communications. Sir, please go ahead.

Jeremy Warnick

Good afternoon, and thank you, everyone, for joining the call today. Our moderator is Randy Ortiz, Chief Executive Officer and President. He’ll be joined on the call by Donald Peck, Chief Financial Officer. An archive of the webcast will be available through  lojack.com in the Investor Relations section.

Any statements during this call that are not statements of historical facts are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on a number of assumptions that involve a number of risks and uncertainties, and accordingly actual results could differ materially. For further information regarding the forward-looking statements and factors that may cause such differences, please see the warning regarding forward-looking statements on our Form 10(k) for the year ended December 31, 2010.

I’ll now turn the call over to Randy Ortiz.

Randy Ortiz

Okay, thank you, Jeremy, and good afternoon everybody. It’s a pleasure joining you on this call today, and certainly we appreciate your time and interest in the LoJack business. I’m going to begin the call today with an overview of our business results in the fourth quarter, along with a few observations on our Domestic and International businesses, and then I’ll turn the call over to our CFO, Don Peck, who will provide a detailed review of our fourth quarter 2011 year-end financial results and some guidance on our financial outlook for 2012.

Since Don and I are in the mist of our first full quarter with the company, I would really like to spend a good portion of the call on my observation of the auto industry, specifically as it relates to growth in the U.S. market, and opportunities that we see within the organization, and of course the plans we have to best position LoJack for growth in 2012 and beyond. And then we’ll close by opening up the call for any of your questions.

So first of all, let me just tell you that I’m pleased to report that we exceeded the consolidated revenue and adjusted EBITDA guidance that we established after our third quarter 2011 financial results. Consolidated revenue for the fourth quarter was up 6.1% over prior year levels, with revenue in the North American increasing 11.1%.

Revenue in our International business was down 1.8% to 16.1 million from the same quarter of the previous year. And Don is going to provide more detail on both of these segments during his comments.

Now, in addition to exceeding our guidance for the year, we finished the quarter with our highest consolidated revenue, gross margin percentage, adjusted EBITDA, and net income for the year. The fundamentals for our U.S. Automotive segment improved during the quarter as well, as we saw favorable trending versus prior quarter on a number of new dealership selling LoJack, and a number of total dealerships selling LoJack.

Now brand rotation continues to impact us in the fourth quarter, but penetration gains in the domestics as well as some of the increased inventories within the Japanese brands, particularly on the west coast, helped to offset some of the impact from brand rotation that we saw in the past.

We also saw significant year-over-year growth in our commercial business. LoJack Italia and supply chain business called SC Integrity. Revenue for the commercial division increased 46% versus the full-year of 2010, as the business continued to expand in to the OEM space, beyond our big rental partners.

Additionally, LoJack Italia delivered a 40% revenue increase, versus a full-year of 2010, and more than 7,000 subscribers were added in 2011, which now takes us over 20,000 subscribers, which was a 57% increase versus 2010. And both the auto dealer and fleet channels delivered improved performance.

LoJack supply chain integrity, our cargo subsidiary had a 19% increase in revenue compared to the previous year, and achieved positive adjust EBITDA for the year. During my first 100 days at LoJack, I have to tell you, I’ve spent a significant amount of time on the road, in the U.S. market, meeting with our field staff and listening to our customers. And during my travels, I saw some positive trends in the business during quarter four, and those have carried right in to the beginning of 2012.

January in 2012 showed a 12.2 million SAR in the U.S. market, and significant growth is bound to come in 2012. We’re poised to take full advantage of this opportunity as we’ve implemented discipline and targeted approach to managing the business as we focus the U.S. team on the top dealer groups in an effort to have an increased role in customer relationship management, by more closely integrating our systems and processes with our dealer partners, and improve our performance going forward.

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